PCT social facts -Reply

[Hans Blom, 960220c]

(Kent McClelland 960215.1615 CST)

Here's another installment of basic PCT ideas for a non-academic
audience, this time focused on social interactions. Again, I'm
looking for comments or corrections. Thanks.

Since actions aren't directly controlled, you can't tell which
perceptions people are controlling just by looking at their actions.

1. When you're dealing with me, you'd better control your actions! I
won't accept from you that you hit me, kick me, flail your arms at me
or otherwise treat me rudely with your uncontrolled actions!

2. You are aware, I hope, that I can know you only through your
actions. So your actions are what is important to me, not your
intentions or what you say your intentions are. You're probably not
even aware of most of your intentions. You might also lie or beautify
the truth. It is my experience that I get to know people better
through what they do than through what they say. Therefore, for me at
least, the only way I can get to know people and what they control
for is through their actions.

To figure out the perception a person is controlling, you need to
perform the Test: ...

What you propose takes an awfully long time, Kent. I'm not sure my
life is long enough for me to model even a few people this way. Don't
you have a faster method?

Again, Kent, the other way around works better, I think...

Greetings,

Hans

[Martin Taylor 960220 15:20]

Hans Blom, 960220c to Kent McClelland 960215.1615

Since actions aren't directly controlled, you can't tell which
perceptions people are controlling just by looking at their actions.

1. When you're dealing with me, you'd better control your actions! I
won't accept from you that you hit me, kick me, flail your arms at me
or otherwise treat me rudely with your uncontrolled actions!

2. You are aware, I hope, that I can know you only through your
actions. So your actions are what is important to me, not your
intentions or what you say your intentions are.

It's worth repeating, I think:

Behaviour is the control only of _perception_ of the world.
One is affected only by the _facts_ of the outer world.

One acts on the outer world _as it is_. One cannot know what the outer
world actually _is_, but one can perceive the effects of some of its
influences on you, including those that correlate with your actions.
You cannot control your actions _at all_, but you can control your
perceptions of your actions, and of the effects of your actions on
other perceptions, and the effects of those perceptual controls on
yet other perceptions,...

If my actions are important to you, not my intentions, you will make
no distinction between my hitting your face with my fist because I lost
my balance and was trying to find a quick handhold on a pipe, and my
hitting your face with my fist because I don't like the way it looks.
You perceive my intention differently in the two cases, and it is truly
the intention that matters. Even in (English-based) law, there is a
principle that there cannot be guilt without guilty intent. But whether
it is you or the court perceiving my intent, you cannot know the truth
of your perception. You can, however, control your perception of my
intent (influencing me to change it), and you can do it more successfully
if your perception has something in common with reality than if it doesn't.

It is my experience that I get to know people better
through what they do than through what they say. Therefore, for me at
least, the only way I can get to know people and what they control
for is through their actions.

What they say is part of what they do. And as Bill P has recently pointed
out, you can't know much about what they control for by observing their
actions unless you also disturb aspects of their environment that you
think might correspond to controlled perceptions. A competent actor on
a stage may mimic very well the actions of someone controlling for
perceiving another actor to be in love with them, or for perceiving
another actor to be dead, but by observing those actions, do you infer
that they are controlling those perceptions?

You're probably not even aware of most of your intentions.

No, you couldn't be unless you had a perceptual input function observing
an intention. One can be aware only of what one can perceive, and in PCT
neither action nor intention are automatically perceived. If you had
a perceptual function whose input was an intention, you could control to
have that intention take on a particular value. You could "intend to intend
to perceive X." Your intention to perceive X is something you could be
aware of, but not your intention to so intend.

To figure out the perception a person is controlling, you need to
perform the Test: ...

What you propose takes an awfully long time, Kent. I'm not sure my
life is long enough for me to model even a few people this way. Don't
you have a faster method?

You do spend most of your life modelling people. Teenagers don't understand
people as well as seniors do--or rather, I should say that any one person
is likely to understand people better as he/she gets older, though some
teenagers understand people better than do most adults. When you think of
modelling "a few people" you probably mean modelling a few salient differences
between those people and your "generic model person." And to do that
approximately requires very little testing. For any particular person
on any particular occasion you probably need only a loose approximation
in a small number of dimensions, and you can often get that approximation
quite quickly--does the person speak Dutch, can he drive a car...matters
of seconds of testing.

Martin